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I grew up in the Adirondack Park region of upstate NY and received my BA from SUNY Potsdam in 2013 (Psychology; Minor Pre-Law). I then moved to The University of North Texas to work on my Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology (since renamed Behavioral Science) with Dr. Heidemarie Blumenthal in the Teen StAR Lab. While there, I was the first UNT student to submit and receive a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) pre-doctoral fellowship from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (1F31DA041105) for my dissertation examining the role of social anxiety and peer rejection on cannabis use willingness among community recruited adolescents. 

I joined Penn State in 2019 as a postdoctoral fellow in the NIDA funded Prevention and Methodology Training (PAMT) program (T32 DA017629) housed within the Edna Bennett-Pierce Prevention Research Center. While there, I worked with Drs. Ashley Linden-Carmichael and Stephanie Lanza in the Addictions and Innovative Methods (AIM) Lab on characterizing alcohol and cannabis use patterns in young adults' daily lives. 


In 2021, I joined The University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) as a Research Scientist focused on overdose and use-disorder prevention and intervention. 

Broadly, I take a biopsychosocial approach to understand the etiological mechanisms linking anxiety, substance use, and use-related problems among adolescents and young adults. My work considers the social (e.g., party settings), cognitive (e.g., why people use), and affective (e.g., stress, acute social anxiety symptoms) factors that situate and drive use behaviors in a given moment as well as how those momentary processes might translate to long term problems.

Dr. Renee M. Cloutier, PhD

Pronouns: She/Her

Research Scientist

Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU)  

University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy 

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